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Feb 26th
Apr 1st
Apr 15th
The Carol Mendelsohn College Drama Award
Reads in Coverfly
Active Since 2017
The Carol Mendelsohn College Drama Award recognizes one student writer annually whose work advances the Humanitas mission.
Accepting Features and TV Pilots
Enter Now
Enter on or before February 26th to save $5


Humanitas annually awards two prizes which recognize excellent student screen and television writing: The David and Lynn Angell College Comedy Award and The Carol Mendelsohn College Drama Award.

The Carol Mendelsohn College Drama Award recognizes one writer each year whose work advances the Humanitas mission and is currently enrolled in a college or university program. It was established thanks to a generous endowment from television writer-producer Carol Mendelsohn, who is best known for her contributions to the crime drama franchise CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Whether a script is a fast paced thriller, a dramedy, or a work of realist fiction, Humanitas seeks material that explores the human condition in a nuanced, meaningful way. The Humanitas mission also lends itself to championing stories and writers who, for varying reasons, may go overlooked by the traditional marketplace.

One student-writer selected as an awardee will receive a trophy at the annual Humanitas Prizes event in September, a $20,000 cash prize, and additional benefits.

Humanitas recognizes that students are often in a precarious position as they transition into the labor market, and a cash prize of this magnitude grants students flexibility post-graduation by mitigating moving expenses, defraying the cost of tuition, or funding creative projects that would otherwise not be financially feasible.

Prices & Deadlines

Feb 26th
Apr 1st
Apr 15th
The Carol Mendelsohn College Drama Award


Cash Prize: Each awardee receives a $20,000 cash prize.

Professional Notes Session: Each awardee will receive feedback on the winning script from a writer in the Humanitas community. Previous writers have included Alena Smith, Kira Snyder, Sheridan Watson, and Chrysanthy Balis.

NFMLA: College Screenwriting Awards recipients will be awarded one year of Student Memberships with NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA).

The Black List: The Black List is proud to offer College Screenwriting Awardees one free month of hosting and two free evaluations of their projects on blcklst.com.

Michael Wiese Productions (MWP): MWP is gifting each awardee a title of their choosing from the MWP catalog. A publishing company known worldwide having published some 200 books, some of their bestsellers have been translated into 18 languages, are used in over 700 film courses, and in the Hollywood studios and by emerging filmmakers. MWP also hosts a series of classes, interviews, and essays on their sister site The Future of Story.

Final Draft: Final Draft will provide activation codes for Final Draft 13 to awardees. Final Draft, a Cast & Crew Company, has published Final Draft® software – the number-one selling screenwriting application in the world – for over 30 years. Final Draft is the only screenwriting software that allows writers to fully customize their writing environment, streamlines their process, maximizes productivity, and automatically paginates and formats scripts to industry standards. With Final Draft, writers can focus on what they do best - writing. Used by such industry giants as J.J. Abrams, Bong Joon Ho, Sofia Coppola, Guillermo Del Toro, Issa Rae and Aaron Sorkin, Final Draft software is the professional’s choice and the entertainment industry standard. In addition to its flagship software product, Final Draft offers the annual Big Break® Contest – a screenwriting competition that launches careers, and awards over $80,000 in cash and prizes. Final Draft also offers Final Draft Go for iPhone and iPad, making creativity truly portable. To learn more about Final Draft and its products and services, visit: www.finaldraft.com.

Humanitas Community Events: Awardees will receive invitations to Humanitas community events throughout the year.

Humanitas is grateful to the companies and organizations who have agreed to partner with us to support emerging writers! Check back for updates as we sometimes add partners throughout the year. 

Components and benefits are subject to change. If you’re a company or organization that would like to be considered for program partnership, please email info@humanitasprize.org with “Program Partnership” in the subject line.


The College Screenwriting Awards usually receive around 200 applications from college students across the United States. 20 semi-finalists, four finalists, and one awardee are named for each award.

To select College Screenwriting Awards semi-finalists, Humanitas oversees a two-round competition powered by Coverfly. Humanitas staff and curated reading committees are then assembled and oversee the semi-finalist and finalist rounds to determine the two awardees.

For their part, Coverfly curates a group of readers to support the Humanitas College Screenwriting Awards and New Voices Fellowship annually. Each script is read anonymously at least once.

For 2024, Coverfly has gathered 85 readers from across the United States. These readers have a diverse set of experiences and backgrounds. 61% do not identify as white, 50% identify as either female or non-binary, 5% are over the age of 50, 19% of readers identify as LGBTQ+, and 2% of readers identify as disabled. 

Readers have or are currently working as development execs, consultants, critics, story editors, authors, and in other positions at companies like Disney, Amazon, Blumhouse, TBS, Warner Bros., FOX, Lionsgate, HBO, Paradigm Talent Agency, Netflix, Magnolia Entertainment, StudioCanal, Paramount, and Starz, as well as competitions like the Austin Film Festival, Slamdance, The Tracking Board, Screencraft, and Launchpad. 

Coverfly compensates readers at an average rate of $19-21/hour based on experience with bonuses available for quality and efficiency. Coverfly readers are given an orientation sheet describing Humanitas and its mission, and a scorecard which asks them to evaluate scripts in the following areas: plot, characters, concept, structure, dialogue, originality, writing style, connection to the Humanitas Mission, and an overall impression.

To learn more about what we look for in a script, you may wish to read this article on our website about the art of screenwriting and exploring the human condition.

2023 Finalists on Coverfly

See Other Placements


Jul 23rd
Aug 5th


At the program's request, Coverfly will automatically remove your title page for you if you include one when submitting to this program.

  • A pilot script (30- or 60-minute pilot) or feature-length screenplay

  • Logline 

  • Brief synopsis (~250-300 words)

  • A short artist statement that speaks to the applicant's professional aspirations and why they felt compelled to write the submitted project.  

  • Signed release form (link)


    Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible.

  • While the majority of our submissions come from students studying film and screenwriting, students of any discipline or major are welcome to apply.

  • Students must be enrolled in a college or university program located within the United States at the time of their submission. Students enrolled in some non-degree certificate conferring screenwriting programs organized by an accredited college or university (e.g.: UCLA TFT Professional Program) are also eligible. If you have questions about if a particular program is eligible, please contact Humanitas.

  • Scripts must be an original work. Adaptations or re-imaginings of true events or fictional stories are acceptable; by submitting you acknowledge you have secured all rights needed to adapt any material.

  • Students will be contacted for Zoom interviews as part of the selection process if they advance to the finalist round. 

  • Assessment to determine finalists weighs the quality of the applicant’s script, the script’s relevance to Humanitas mission, and the quality of the applicant’s supplementary materials. All finalists are interviewed on Zoom. These meetings cover the submitted project, short term practical needs, long term career aspirations, and play an essential role in determining who is selected to receive the annual College Screenwriting Awards.

  • Current Humanitas staff and interns are not eligible for the College Screenwriting Awards.

  • Should a writing team be selected, cash prizes will be split evenly amongst the writers.

  • A limited number of fee waivers are available for applicants on a first come, first serve basis. If cost is a barrier for entry, please contact Humanitas.

While the Humanitas College Screenwriting Awards accept materials from all writers, writers with diverse backgrounds and social identities historically underrepresented in media are highly encouraged to apply. 

Click here to read the FAQ on the Humanitas website.